Opposite sex friends?

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Opposite sex friends?

Postby SamMos76 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:40 pm

Ok sorry if this is in the wrong place, but here goes.
I've been talking with a girl from work over email for sometime, nothing flirty just about work, or a moan about having a bad day etc. Anyway recently she was feeling down about work and I said if she needed a chat that I'd be happy too and said she could call me. Nothing unusual there as I'm a higher level to her and part of my role to help. Well she called and I helped with her enquiry, and she said I could text if I wanted as emails are sometimes read by others.
Now whilst we are both married, and nothing has happened or flirting, I wonder if what I've done is crossing a line. We make each other laugh, and are able to talk naturally and openly, but she has said not to contact her outside of the working day? Almost as if she knows it would annoy her partner. Now I can see how that may be and don't have any intention of doing so, but it did make me wonder,can people of the opposite sex have a platonic friendship, without their respective partner feeling threatened or jealous? Thanks.
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Re: Opposite sex friends?

Postby Tarantula » Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:59 am

Depends on the partner. My view is, of all the millions of same-gendered people to be friends with, do you absolutely HAVE to have texty texty fun with someone you could be attracted to?

And when I say could be, I mean actually ARE attracted to. I don't think you were just wondering, come on, you're having those thoughts, no?

I'll never risk my partner feeling jealous or bad. It simply isn't worth it. And, in my experience, there is always a dynamic when I try to be friends with a bloke. Something along the lines of, so many months in, them having a few drinks and coming out with feelings, or, I get a boyfriend and they mysteriously disappear. Sadly this has always been the case. Or perhaps it isn't sad, as it makes things clearer for me and my bf.

There should be a test: for every opposite sex friendship (assuming both parties are heterosexual), let the girl come on to the guy, start flirting, eventually make a move. If he genuinely turns it down saying that he really just wants friendship, THEN it's truly platonic. Otherwise, there'll always be a little bit of something. A little bit of what if. A little bit of imagining them when you're with your partner. Etc.

Caveat: I am talking here about actual, one-to-one, doing stuff alone together friends. Not friends of friends, or friends' partners. That's different. On a more superficial level, yes of course men and women can be friends. But in terms of being close, nah. Not really. I mean you can pretend and do the dance but I reckon there'll always be at least one person secretly hoping something more might develop.
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Re: Opposite sex friends?

Postby johnay » Wed Jan 11, 2017 11:32 pm

Of course we can have friends of the opposite sex. I generally worked with many more women than men and have had a lot of female friends. I suppose I've always got on better with women and I expect I just come across as a safe man. I've never had an affair with another woman either.
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Re: Opposite sex friends?

Postby Country Joe » Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:25 pm

Always a bit of a 'grey area' I think. Often in these situations one or the other person may well hold or develop feelings & reading signals that are not really there. I would always turn it around and say how would you feel if your wife was having a 'friendship' with some younger better looking hunky bloke? You wouldn't like it one little bit. In that you'll find your answer!
Last edited by Country Joe on Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Opposite sex friends?

Postby David020549 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 9:34 pm

Close friends of the opposite sex is a bad idea, especially if you are regularly messaging each other, it opens a whole can of worms. Maybe it is entirely platonic at present but given time it might get intimate, that cannot be predicted one way or the other but problems will start if either of your respective partners find out.
Either they will suspect you are paying the friend too much attention and questioning every time you are late home or working overtime, or you will object to not being trusted, it is just a complication that you don't need. So if you must retain the friendship stick to friendship at work and don't message each other.
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Re: Opposite sex friends?

Postby Celebritydiscodave » Fri Jan 13, 2017 12:34 pm

Yes and know, there are three main factors. There are a great many factors. For instance, whether or not the friendship is high order, or may potentially become so, and whether it is, or may later become, "time and place" Flirting doesn`t of itself ad any quality, we fancy countless thousands, most of us, and many, equally of both genders, would, in my view, tend to feel more threatened by actual quality of friendship than by mutual physical attraction, but age playing a key role here. The vast majority would also feel considerably threatened by both. In my opinion you are not technically doing anything wrong in being her friend, neither even in loving her, for where love is entirely appropriate to the circumstance it can surely only ever be a perfect commodity. I refer to the different natures/orders of love. For instance, that love which is truly unreserved and unconditional platonic friendship cannot be described as being wrong under any circumstance of two individuals being adult. However, it would, in my view, still be very wrong if the third party, her husband, was not genuinely considered.. The friendship would require to be justified for reasons well beyond personal satisfaction. It`s a highly controversial area, and definitive answers cannot exist here.
I`m sixty one.male, and my best/closest friend is eighteen, female, she has a boyfriend. Boyfriends are not quite to be compared with husbands, as perhaps at least nineteen out of every twenty relationships fail before then, and for the right reasons. Besides, if he cannot successfully compete with me, at my age, then perhaps she is better of out of that particular one anyway? I justify our friendship on several levels, the fact that I may be the only person that can influence her away from the army, and there`s an almighty lid on what happens there, is certainly a key player. The very fact that we have become close friends may in itself suggest to something not being quite right in her relationship. The same can be said if she were married. You have to put everything on the balance and see which way it falls. However, in all of this you must be first entirely certain that you possess the capacity for a near totally selfless state of being. The safe answer for the masses is to stay well clear, but where potential relationships are concerned the majority of us are seldom safe. All of this before children though, preferably.
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Re: Opposite sex friends?

Postby SamMos76 » Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:11 pm

All valid points, but I guess where I'm coming from is, you can't choose who you fall in love with, just as much as you can't choose who you become close friends with. She has never said she's unhappy at home, in fact most of our conversations are about work, be it, being unhappy or just how the day is going. So it's hardly personal. I've always found it easier to have friendships with females, and find it easy to talk to them. Doesn't mean I've fancied every female friend I've had. In fact the only one I did get intimate briefly with I didn't find attractive at all! But that was many years ago. My wife has male friends that I know she messages, I don't ask about the content of the message and am ok with it, so why should it be any different the other way round. Yes I wonder why my friend won't text outside of working hours but I haven't asked why and haven't text either. I just can't understand why it's such a big deal. I understand the implications if things got flirty or we met up, but we haven't and don't intend too. I just can't see why it's wrong!
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Re: Opposite sex friends?

Postby johnay » Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:30 pm

Hey SamMos I agree with you completely but from the other answers it's obvious that some folks suffer a lot with a lack of trust and jealousy..
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Re: Opposite sex friends?

Postby Tarantula » Sat Jan 14, 2017 5:53 pm

As I said, the caveat is, we're talking about close, one-to-one friends, right? Not surface level colleague stuff. Of course there's nothing wrong with that.

I think it's important to notice your own contradictions. Firstly, of course you can choose who you're close with. That is 100% your choice. You can't choose who you're attracted to, but you can choose how you act on it. Secondly, you've said you didn't fancy that female friend at all... but you did get intimate with her. So you must have had some sexual attraction drawing you to do that. Assuming you're heterosexual, have you ever just slipped and fallen and been intimate with a man? No? Why not? Because there's no attraction! But you DID get intimate with this female 'friend' of yours - proving that there was some level of attraction occurring.

Your colleague doesn't text outside of working hours because she understands proper boundaries, or, perhaps she simply reserves her free time for the people she's actually close with. To flip it, I would ask, if you don't see anything wrong or have any extra-platonic feeling... why did you post this thread? Why does it bother you that she won't text during her private time outside of work?

Only you know in the privacy of your own mind whether you'd like to get naked with your colleague or not. My guess is, you would like to, and are perhaps feeling guilty about it (don't - you haven't done anything wrong, yet) and trying to put it all under the friendship banner where it does not comfortably fit.

Do I suffer with a lack of trust and jealousy, johnay, or do you suffer with naivete/denial of your own sexual impulses? Perhaps both have some truth?
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Re: Opposite sex friends?

Postby Celebritydiscodave » Sun Jan 15, 2017 1:11 pm

Yes, you do have choice, because you have both the choice of avoidance, and then the choice as to whether or not to respect another`s circumstances. If we were taking it the full distance though, as to whether there is actually choice, we would be in the realms of philosophy, and discussing whether or not free will does actually exist. There are great brains that will argue that our minds are geared up only to believe that we have choice. If one is genuine/unconditional in one`s friendships, as in love, there is no compromise made of the second parties circumstance, because you are in it for them before you are in it for yourself.

Any alteration to the way in which society functions, if it were possible to make, would have to be considered very carefully, for take out or change one card here, and the whole stack may fall. I would anticipate that if there were to be put in place across gender interactive friendship avoidance of those in relationships, and in marriages, that total human suffering would be increased. It is with this in mind that I delivered my previous post. It`s not an area where exists any definitives, only strong opinions, and for all we know your friendship may go on to save her great suffering, even her very life. Likewise, it could do considerable damage.

What is most important is that you respect her circumstances, his circumstances, and that you respect her. I fancy the pants off some of the girls that are my friends, but never whilst I`m with them, control here, so it is n`t inappropriate. They are up to 40 yrs my junior so I`m more likely so to do, what actually counts is only the nature of person which you are, not whether you are virile and healthy, or with one foot in the grave. What is attractive is attractive, and that`s not your fault, you are not blind, but what you do about it you are accountable for, free will, or no free will.
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Re: Opposite sex friends?

Postby johnay » Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:22 pm

"Do I suffer with a lack of trust and jealousy, johnay, or do you suffer with naivete/denial of your own sexual impulses? Perhaps both have some truth?"

I don't really know if you suffer with a lack of trust and jealousy Tarantula and only you know that. I chose my words carefully and said "some " folks suffer with it.
As for my beliefs they are there I feel more because of my cultural background and personal ethos. At 64 I don't really feel that naive and have lived a very full and varied life with lots of life experiences. My marriage may not be perfect but it's still mostly happy, physical and has endured 41 years. My Mrs has been the only woman in my life. I have like SamMos always had more female friends than male ones because I find them easier to talk to as well. But I understand that others aren't like me and weren't brought up the way I was and that some folks like the lady SamMos was talking about may not wish to chat too openly because their partner may not like or appreciate it. I understand that some folks are very possessive and controlling with their partners and many suffer from jealousy of any friends.
For me I was brought up in the North East and in a large village where everyone knew each other and that culturally it was expected that you talk to everyone. That I was brought up in business where it was expected that we chatted to the customers and knew their names was the norm. Being brought up in an open and friendly environment has made me a very sociable man who enjoys being with people and having friends. I was also brought up to respect the opposite sex and to not treat them as sexual objects. I never ever heard my father speak about a woman in a sexual way either. I have also tried hard to live a life of viewing everyone in an equal way and that to me means not being sexually pushy, jealous or controlling. Folks view me as a safe man and that's how I like it. I've had friends of all ages and still do and don't feel that I have denied my sexual urges in any way by being the way I am and haven't ever had a woman come on to me or got the wrong idea with regard to my friendliness. As I originally stated I honestly feel that's its fine that you can have friends of the opposite sex in the same way as you can friends of he same sex. Ultimately it's how you come across and behave in any friendship that make it good, acceptable and longlasting.
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Re: Opposite sex friends?

Postby Mrconfused74 » Thu Jan 19, 2017 6:47 pm

I think it instances like this where you need to be totally honest with yourself, if you intend to just be friends with this girl then that's fine. The moment you start to flirt or have feelings the whole dynamic changes. It does sound strange that she doesn't talk to you outside of work times, but this may well just be that her partner is a jealous type and doesn't want the hassle of explaining herself. I know people that have a lot of opposite sex friends and have no issues, because t I also know of when people have got the wrong idea and thought there was more to it. If it's just text or email then it's unlikely anything will happen, although you risk an emotional affair. But even then, where does this start and friendly advice end? There is the old cliche of well if your wife was doing this hoe would you feel? True to an extent, but I'm sure lots of couples hide things, or don't say something for fear of hurting their partners feelings, and she may well have male friends too! Some couples are just happy enough not to question it. So I say carry on we always need friends, but beware the signs that your feelings are changing.
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Re: Opposite sex friends?

Postby Celebritydiscodave » Sun Jan 22, 2017 1:54 am

Mrc, and Johnay
All good points. Ideally you would trust your wife, and ideally she would trust you . No matter how great may be the temptation there may not necessarily be a problem. The nature of one`s love/affection/friendship can be all important. Should one be genuine in these areas, should one only experience genuine love, affection, friendship, then the imperative would be only to do nothing to undermine the marriage, for ego is kept in check. It is not the case that we are all the same person, that functions in the same way. Many are of course, programmed such, but not everyone. In my opinion it is also possible to alter one`s functionality around love, affection, and friendship, not perhaps to make an exception for one circumstance, for one individual that one may love, but as an altered functionality to cover every circumstance of every individual that may come one`s way. This is not to undermine the other contributions, merely to try and add something more to them. Others have contributed both specific and valid points. I`m simply a believer that the more ground which is covered the more useful it can be.
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Re: Opposite sex friends?

Postby SamMos76 » Sun Jan 22, 2017 4:06 pm

Clearly she's not having a good time at work, and I get the impression things at home aren't great, so perhaps she does just need an ego boost, or someone she doesn't know to just help her get through the day. Of course it's occurred to me, why would a married woman start chatting to another man, offering a different line of communication other than work email? Yes she's pretty, yes my marriage isn't brilliant, otherwise I wouldn't be here, but doesn't mean either of us are looking for an affair. I know it's possible one or both could start having feelings, doesn't mean we will act on them.
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Re: Opposite sex friends?

Postby Country Joe » Mon Jan 23, 2017 10:05 am

I think in your heart of hearts you know your on a slippery slope....'Yes she's pretty, yes my marriage isn't brilliant,. And it's ok to admit that however there's a lot of moral justification flying around in these posts! At the heart of it you clearly find her attractive and things are not good at home which is sure fire recipe for disaster. I can speak from bitter experience as I did exactly the same thing as your contemplating 8 years ago! It cost me the loss of my family, home and sanity...not to mention the best part of £200K. The right thing to do is work on your marriage and ignore your feelings for this other person, and if you don't want to work on your marriage walk away before entering in to any kind of tryst with someone else!
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